(File Photo)

BC teachers will soon be better compensated for their work and time. 

The BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) took the past three days to vote on a new agreement with the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA), who negotiate with teachers on behalf of the province.

The agreement will bring better pay, increased benefits, more opportunity for professional development funding and class preparation time for the teachers union. 

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The three-year deal will land the teachers up to an additional $8,500 per year with the highest paid teachers in BC earning up to an extra $13,500 per year. 

The vote was 94% in favour of the agreement with over 35,500 ballots cast. Only 2,299 BCTF members voted against the agreement. 

“Thank you for engaging in the bargaining process and taking part in this vote. Our union is strong because of our democratic process and member-led decision making,” said Clint Johnson, President of the BCTF.

“Together, we achieved some historic gains that will help members who are struggling with the affordability crisis and will make us more competitive with other provinces to help recruit and retain more teachers.”

The BCTF hopes that this new pay increase will bring more teachers into the province because as of right now, there is a “significant shortage” that has been affecting the support teachers are able to provide students.

“Too often, specialist teachers like counsellors are being pulled from their important work to cover classrooms, while other teachers are not getting the preparation time they are entitled to,” said Johnson. 

“This new deal will help BC be more competitive in terms of salary, but we need the government and school districts to do more, as the employer, to ensure our schools are properly staffed and students get the support they need.”

The BCTF says they are working to encourage the government to report on the teacher shortage publicly and the impacts that came along with that.

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